Samsung stepped up its smartphone build quality once again with the Galaxy S7, offering an IP68 rated case for some protection against dirt and water. Interestingly, the phone acquired this rating despite leaving the micro USB charging port exposed and it appears that the company has also thought about protecting the handset from charging while wet. Users are reporting a “moisture detected in charging port” message being displayed after taking their new phone for a dunk.
The rather handy fail-safe feature is clearly designed to prevent any possible short circuits and completely disables the USB port from charging while wet. Users have had to wait for quite different lengths of time until the port activates again. Some have seen charging re-enabled within an hour, while other have had to wait for four or more hours, suggesting that some mechanism checks for the port to be completely dry before it switches back on.
Unfortunately, one user noted that his Galaxy S7 will no longer fast charge after the port had come back into use, which is a bit worrisome. Although the handset would charge fine at regular speeds. The Galaxy S7’s wireless charging feature doesn’t appear to be affected by the same fail-safe, but I wouldn’t recommend sticking a wet phone on a charging pad either.
Even though Samsung has clearly gone out of its way to protect the handset from water, users shouldn’t really treat this as a green light to bring the Galaxy S7 along as a swimming companion. As manufacturers like Sony have stated in the past, IP ratings mean that a device meets the protection specifications under test environments, but there’s no guarantee that the handset will remain water resistant under all circumstances and you might not be covered under warranty either. Better to treat it as a safety net in case of an accident.